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SETI AIR Newsletter - September 2023

SETI AIR Newsletter - September 2023

SETI AIR Newsletter collage




Bettina Forget

There’s no place where I feel more connected to the cosmos than at the SETI Institute’s Hat Creek Radio Observatory. Standing amidst the array of gleaming white radio dishes my ears are straining for the whisper of an alien civilization. During last week’s visit I to the array made a stop at the inaugural branch of The Library of the Great Silence, an intergalactic cabinet of curiosities conceived by SETI AIR Jonathon Keats. Visitors and artists have already made contributions (and swaps), though we’re still waiting for any extraterrestrial loans. Find out more about this fascinating project in our newsletter below. What would you add to the library?

Wishing you clear skies (and keep listening!),

Artist Spotlight

Jonathon Keats
Jonathon Keats at the Hat Creek Radio Observatory. Credit: Vincenzo Mancuso.

Jonathon Keats

Jonathon Keats’ project The Library of the Great Silence is an installation art project that addresses one of the implications of the Fermi Paradox. If the cosmos is only sparsely populated by intelligent beings, it implies that at some point in their development almost all technological societies encounter a barrier they cannot cross. To counter such a dystopian prospect, Keats created an intergalactic lending library to research planetary futures. Branches of this library have already been installed at the SETI Institute’s Hat Creek Radio Observatory and at museums and universities around the world.

Jonathon Keats is an experimental philosopher, artist, and writer whose conceptually-driven transdisciplinary projects explore all aspects of society, adapting methods from the sciences and the humanities. He has exhibited and lectured at dozens of institutions worldwide, from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to Stanford University to the Triennale di Milano, and from SXSW to CERN to UNESCO. He is also the author of six books on subjects ranging from science and technology to art and design.





How may an advanced alien civilization provide us with clues as to how to surmount existential threats like climate change or mutual annihilation? Watch SETI AIR Director Bettina Forget in conversation with Jonathon Keats and find out what’s in the library:

The Library of the Great Silence

A conversation with Jonathon Keats

Have ideas what should be included in The Library of the Great Silence? Add your suggestions in the video’s comment section!

Up next: Mark your calendars

Women With Impact: Moon craters named after women

A conversation with Bettina Forget
October 26, 2023




SETI AIR Artist News & Events


UKI Movie Still, Credit: Shu Lea Cheang 2023

Adriana Knouf

UKI - A Viral Alt-Reality Cinema (Shu Lea Cheang)

Featuring Adriana’s music and avatar under the name Selestra


Partial Cover of "A Sign in Space: an Essay" by Thomas Moynihan. Cover Illustration by Szymon Karpierz

Daniela de Paulis

Two essays were commissioned for A Sign in Space:

A Sign in Space: an Essay, Thomas Moynihan (historian)

A Look Behind the Sign, Chelsea Haramia (philosopher of ethics)


Xin Liu

Xin Liu

Chinese Artist Xin Liu Takes Us Inside Her Lab-Like London Studio, Where Engineering and Creativity Converge

Feature article in Artnet by Cathy Fan


Mike von der Nahmer. Credit: Music Thinking Podcast

Mike von der Nahmer

Sonification with Michael von der Nahmer

Music Thinking podcast


Jesse Tungilik Sealskin Spacesuit (detail)

Bettina Forget

Exhibition Panel Discussion: Decolonizing Space

McIntosh Gallery & The Department of Visual Arts' Art Now! Speakers' Series
September 28, 2023, 7:00 pm EST



Image Credit: City Lights Booksellers & Publishers

Jonathon Keats

Deep Time Photography for Future Generations (workshop)

October 8, 2023, 4:40 pm PDT
The Lab 2948
16th Street San Francisco, CA 94103



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